BURLINGTON, Vt., April 28 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Friday joined the Scoopers of Ben & Jerry’s Burlington Scoop Shop as they announced that they are organizing a union and that Ben & Jerry’s has agreed to sign the Fair Election Principles, a code of corporate conduct for union elections to ensure that every worker can exercise their right to join a union without intimidation or harassment.
Sanders’ remarks in support of the workers, as prepared for delivery, are below.
Let me first congratulate every worker at the Church Street Ben and Jerry’s for unanimously taking the courageous step of forming a union.
You have joined the wave of union organizing across the country where tens and thousands of workers are coming together, and I’m proud to see workers right here in Burlington becoming part of this historical moment.
At the same time, we are seeing major corporations engage in vicious and illegal union busting behavior – we have seen this from Starbucks, Amazon, and many more.
That’s why, it is very good news that here in Burlington, Ben and Jerry’s have listened to their workers and have agreed to the Fair Election Principles that the “Scoopers” have asked for.
These fair election principals ensure that every worker can exercise their right to join a union without intimidation or harassment.
Ben & Jerry’s has a long and proud history of being a progressive and socially conscious company. I am encouraged to see the company respond in a positive way to workplace organizing and I hope very much that they will now negotiate a fair first contract.
This sets an important example for what all companies can and should do. I hope that Starbucks and other companies who are so aggressively engaging in anti-union behavior, follow the lead of Ben & Jerry’s and live up to their “progressive values.”
And I hope that Starbucks will sit down with South Burlington workers and bargain a fair first contract.
Let me once again congratulate you all for standing up and fighting for fair wages, decent benefits, and dignity on the job.